Employees who are discharged must be paid all wages due at the time of termination. (Labor Code § 201) “All wages” include any earned, but unused vacation pay. (Labor Code §227.3) There is no requirement under California law that an employer pay accrued sick leave upon termination. An employer must pay a discharged employee at the place of discharge. (Labor Code § 208)
However, an employee who does not have a written agreement for a definite period of employment and who quits without giving prior notice, must be paid his or her wages within 72 hours. If the employee gives at least 72 hours notice of his or her intention to quit, those wages must be paid at the time of quitting. An employee who quits must be paid at the office or agency of the employer in the county where the employee worked. An employee who quits without 72 hours notice may request that his or her final wage payment be mailed to a designated address. The date of mailing will be considered the date of payment. (Labor Code § 202)
An employer who willfully fails to pay any wages due an employee who is discharged or quits within the time frames provided under Labor Code § 201 or Labor Code § 202, may be assessed continuing wages as a penalty from the date the wages were due up to a maximum of 30 days. (Labor Code § 203)
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No, your employer had to pay you all final wages immediately upon termination. For each that your employer willfully fails to pay up, it will owe you a waiting time penalty equal to your daily rate of pay, up to a maximum of 30 days (plus attorney's fees). Your employer seems well on its way to owing you the maximum. Speak with an employment attorney. Most employment attorneys offer free consultations.
You are likely owed one day's pay for each day you had to wait to be paid - up to 30 days and the law states that if the employer "willfully withheld" the final check after the date of termination by the employer, the employer "shall" pay your attorneys' fees as well. Call an employment law attorney to discuss. The 72 hr. law is if the employee quits and does not provide at least 72 hrs' notice. If the employer terminates the employment, the final check, including any earned and unused vacation pay, is due on the last day. Find contact info on Avvo.com. A demand letter from an employment law attorney is usually the fastest way to get what is owed to you.
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